Massive month of art kicks off in Swanage

Over the next four weeks, artists in Swanage will be opening their doors to visitors – first as part of Dorset Art Weeks then swiftly followed by a further fortnight of art with the start of Purbeck Art Weeks (PAW).

Dorset Art Weeks, now in its 30th year, is from Saturday 14th to Sunday 29th May 2022 with artists across Dorset displaying their work, including two venues in Swanage – The Purbeck New Wave Gallery in the High Street and Heather Gibbons at the Learning Centre at Durlston Country Park.


Look out for the yellow signs across Dorset

Plenty of open studios to visit

Purbeck Art Weeks or PAW festival, after being held in 2021 in September due to the Covid pandemic, is back at its usual time of the year from Saturday 28th May to Sunday 12th June 2022.

This means that from mid May to mid June this year, there will be plenty of open studios to visit, art exhibitions to view and creative activities going on.

While there’s only two venues in Swanage taking part in Dorset Art Weeks this year, there’s plenty more artists joining in for the PAW festival.

Purbeck New Wave Gallery

The Purbeck New Wave Gallery at 43a High Street in Swanage

Purbeck New Wave Group

The Purbeck New Wave Gallery in the High Street will be taking part in both events with eight local artists exhibiting and demonstrating their art.

They are Briony Maple, Nicky Stockley, Gill Williams, Ed Marriott, Eleanor Spalding, Diana Girdwood and Lucy Field, as well as the gallery’s owner Gina Marshall.

Gina Marshall and Purbeck New Wave Gallery

Gina Marshall in her art gallery

“A really thriving art community in Swanage”

Gina said:

“There’s around 300 different artists taking part in Dorset Art Weeks, so it’s a good chance to get known further afield and we certainly want to put Swanage on the map.

“There’s a really thriving art community in Swanage, with plenty of artists to visit, not just us! I think it’s the sea that draws creative people to the area – it’s such an inspiring location for artists. And apart from the art, there’s the beach and all the cafes to pop into.

“Each day during Dorset Art Weeks, there’ll be a different artist at work in the gallery, so all are very welcome to drop in for a chat!”

Heather Gibbons and her art work

Heather Gibbons setting up her work at the Learning Centre at Durlston Country Park

Heather Gibbons at Durlston Country Park

Over the other side of Swanage Downs is Durlston Country Park and that’s the venue for the work of artist Heather Gibbons.

In the Learning Centre, she’s exhibiting her striking oil paintings of the Dorset landscape.

With a slightly ‘hotter’ colour palette for this year, she successfully aims to draw you into her paintings, so you can imagine you are there walking along the coastal paths or beach combing along the shore.

Heather Gibbons' art work

Waiting to be hung

“The sea beating against the cliffs”

Heather said:

“It’s wonderful exhibiting here. Durlston has everything – it has wild remote parts with the sea beating against the cliffs, with tremendously inspiring views. It’s the mood and atmosphere.

“Away from the coast are the lovely woodland and meadow walks, not to forget Durlston Castle – the best of both worlds.

“I was told that the rock shapes of Purbeck lend themselves to abstraction and that’s what I do. Aspects of reality fuse with my imagination.”

Heather Gibbons and her art work

Heather with her dog Sugar

Other studios in Purbeck opening for Dorset Art Weeks

Heather Gibbons' art work

Heather paints in oil on wood or tiles, often repurposing old materials – one of her paintings in the exhibition is painted on a panel from an old chest of drawers

Further information

  • More venues and details are on the Dorset Art Weeks website
  • The latest information about Purbeck Art Weeks Festival is on the PAW website
Dorset Art Weeks poster
PAW Poster

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